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Cricket not only focus; other sports important too:Raj Hazarika, Founder, Ryders Sports Academy


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Raj Hazarike founded Ryders Sports Academy and integrated a modern sports complex in 2001. What started with a single tennis court and an initial capital of Rs 2 lakh has trained over 6,000 children in over 11 different sporting activities at its four centres located in the Delhi National Capital Region scoring a turnover of Rs 40 lakh last year.

In a country where sport is synonymous with cricket despite the recent scandal, trying to create room for other sports has been mission impossible almost. Thirty-five year old sports enthusiast, Raj Hazarika has been a brave entrepreneur.

Hazarike founded Ryders Sports Academy and integrated a modern sports complex in 2001. What started with a single tennis court and an initial capital of Rs 2 lakh has trained over 6,000 children in over 11 different sporting activities at its four centres located in the Delhi National Capital Region scoring a turnover of Rs 40 lakh last year. This is Raj’s story of turning all work into playThe London Olympic 2012 saw the Indian contingent make its biggest medal haul ever of six medals. It may have been better than the past but it is a shameful and embarrassing reminder that all is not well with Indian sport.

With a mission of translating raw energy into trained talent, 35 year old, Raj Hazarika has been trying to bridge the gap between potential and performance since 2001 with his Ryders Sports Academy. An integrated modern sports complex, the academy has a team of 120 coaches, grounds men and admin staff operating in over four centers in the Delhi National Capital Region.

Raj Hazarika, founder, Ryders Sports Academy says, “Children have lot of options when they enter sports academy. They see tennis, they see cricket, they see football, they see basketball etc. So, they can visualize and relate to themselves which sport they can connect to.”

Targeting children between the age group of 3 to 17 with fees ranging from Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,800 a month, Ryders Sports Academy has so far trained over 6,000 students. Over the last couple of years, Ryders has been pursuing its corporate clientele more aggressively though Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been a client since 2007. Ryders now provides tailor made sporting programmes and organises sporting events for 15 firms like Pepsi, American Express, Nokia, Genpact and Ernst & Young. Today the firm grosses a turnover of Rs 40 lakh per annum and Raj believes the lack of government support has been one of the biggest hurdles on the track.

Hazarika explains, “We have our players already chosen for the world championship in skating. We have our students in cricket already chosen for district. Our children made national record in Mumbai. Growth is immense, but that way the opportunities are less.”Being a national level tennis player and having represented his state of Assam, Raj’s game plan for the future seems set with plans to open a residential sports school, Ryders Sports Academy also plans to adopt the franchise model to get a pan India presence by 2014.

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